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Mercosur asked to delay the exchange of tariff proposals

Staff writer ▼ | December 13, 2013
The European Union has formally requested that the exchange of tariff proposals with Mercosur for the creation of a cooperation and free trade zone, originally scheduled for next week, be delayed until 2014.
Mercosur
MercosurThe European Union has formally requested that the exchange of tariff proposals with Mercosur for the creation of a cooperation and free trade zone, originally scheduled for next week, be delayed until 2014.


"Yes, we were surprised by the request, but officially we don't know what is delaying the tariff proposals from the EU", admitted the Brazilian delegation headed by Foreign minister Luiz Fernando Figuereido that attended the world trade talks in Indonesia last week.

Unofficially, Brazil believes that the main obstacle for the EU to reach a common tariff list from the 28 members is agriculture, which is vital for Brazil and its Mercosur partners, probably some of the most efficient, non subsidized farmers in the world.

However Minister Figuereido said to Folha de Sao Paulo that despite the delay "we have not lost our impetus to reach an agreement with the EU for the creation of a free trade and cooperation space". The EU said it had some pending details in the elaboration of its proposal and promised to have it ready in January 2014, but with no specific day, which some Brazilian officials believe it could anticipate further delays.

Industry, foreign trade and development minister Fernando Pimentel said he was disappointed with the EU decision and revealed that Mercosur has virtually finished negotiations for the group's common tariff list proposal, but "why should we urge with our proposal if they won't have theirs on the table".

The bilateral agreement with the EU is considered a priority by the Brazilian government even after the Bali agreement which gave some extra life to the weakened WTO.

Apparently according to Brazilian sources Mercosur members Uruguay and Paraguay have already completed the common proposal with Brazil and the more reluctant Argentina has presented a proposal with 80% of the items suggested by Brazil.


 

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